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Department S

Department S


When a case proves too baffling for the minds of Interpol, they turn to the talents of Department S. (From the ITC trailer)

Department S is an elite branch of Interpol, headquartered in Paris. They are called in when a case has no logic or solution and the "regular" police investigations have run into dead ends. Sample cases include a jet landing in London with no passengers or crew aboard, a man in a space suit found dead in Soho, and an assassination of a wax dummy.

THE CHARACTERS:

Jason King is a best-selling novelist. His books depicting the adventures of his fictional creation, Mark Caine, have sold "60 million books in 15 languages" according to Sir Curtis. Jason's approach to a case is completely different: he theorizes the most outlandish scenario imaginable, then treats the solution the way his fictional hero would. He is a playboy who is easily distracted by a pretty face.

Stewart Sullivan is the field leader of Department S. A former FBI agent, he knows every seemingly ridiculous case has a logical explanation, and he uses his intelligence to sort through the clues to find it. While he relies primarily on his brains, his fists are also useful weapons when he has to fight. He and Annabelle obviously had (or are continuing) a romance (although it is never shown or directly referenced).

Annabelle Hurst is a computer expert. Much like her computer, nicknamed "Auntie", Annabelle sees cases strictly in black and white. She has little patience for Jason's wild theories (although Stewart reminded her once that Jason "has a nasty habit of scoring near-misses" with his outlandish ideas). The sole woman of the Department is not confined to the office: she works the field, and occasionally finds herself successfully escaping from criminals.

Sir Curtis Seretse, a high-ranking diplomat from an unnamed African country, is the official head of Department S. He decides which cases will be handled by the Department (which occasionally finds him butting heads with Stewart). Because of his status he is able to avoid red tape and get top secret information that would otherwise be out of the Department's reach. His diplomatic position causes him on more than on instance to become part of the case the Department is trying to solve, and he even helps out in the field.

THE ACTORS:

Peter Wyngarde was a frequent guest star on other ITC programs (including such classics as The Prisoner and The Avengers). He has had a long career in film, TV, and theater. His official fanclub is called The Hellfire Club, named after an organization in the memorable episode A Touch of Brimstone from The Avengers that featured Wyngarde as the club's leader.

Joel Fabiani possessed handsome leading man looks, but Department S was his only starring role. He has spent over 40 years in acting, appearing in television, films, and plays, and even reading books on tape.

Rosemary Nicols has appeared in plays such as the London production of Fiddler on the Roof. She had a few roles after Department S before retiring from the acting profession.

Dennis Alaba Peters was a native of Gambia and, according to Peter Wyngarde's audio commentary on the Umbrella Entertainment Department S box set, quite an accomplished operatic singer. He moved to England in 1950 to study when he became interested in acting. After Department S he returned to his native country to start a production company. He passed away in 1996.

THE LEGACY:

Department S was syndicated world-wide, earning fans everywhere it played. A region code-free 7-DVD box set is available from Umbrella Entertainment in Australia.

THEME:

The theme music was composed by Edwin Astley, who created the music for a number of ITC shows. He was also Who guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend's father-in-law.

OPENING:

The opening credits can be viewed here.
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Episode Info

Final: 1x28 -- The Soup of the Day (Mar/17/1970)


Location: Liverpool, England
Date: May 2nd

An elaborate break-in at a customs warehouse on a loading dock results in the theft of one case of fish soup from Portugal. As Stewart and Annabelle are investigating, the case of soup is found outside, discarded. Jason thinks there is a larger crime behind the breaking and entering, so he heads to Lisbon to check the factory where the soup originated from.
Cast
Peter Wyngarde
As Jason King
Joel Fabiani
As Stewart Sullivan
Rosemary Nicols
As Annabelle Hurst
Dennis Alaba Peters
As Sir Curtis Seretse

Reviews

FourWalls

Reviews: 2
One of ITC's BestRating: 1 likes, 0 dislikes

In the mid-1960s, England's ITC Productions churned out series after series with apparent minimal effort. The amazing thing is that very few, if any, of these shows appeared to be a quick knock-off. The company that gave us the classics The Saint, The Prisoner, and The Avengers was also responsible for a most underrated classic -- Department S. Read more

Review posted on Monday, October 9th 2006 at 4:00 pm

1 review available
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Crew

Creator: Dennis Spooner, Monty Berman
Editor: Philip Barnikel
Casting: Judith Jourd
Music: Edwin Astley
Music Editor: Deveril Goodman
Costume Designer: Laura Nightingale
Hairstylist: Mike Jones (3)
Camera Operator: Gerald Moss, Tony White
Construction Coordinator: Bill Greene (2)

View full crew list
Recurring Guests

Basil Dignam as Howard Finch (3 eps)
Tony Thawnton as Official (2 eps)
John Gabriel (1) as Air Traffic Controller (2 eps)
Edina Ronay as Miss Simms (2 eps)
Peter Arne as Slovic (2 eps)
Paul Whitsun-Jones as Martin Kyle (2 eps)
Juliet Harmer as Trish (2 eps)
George Pastell as Camilo Garria (2 eps)
Ellis Dale as Priest (2 eps)
Roger Avon as 1st Maintenance Man (2 eps)

View All Recurring Guests
Warning: Department S guide may contain spoilers
Classification: Scripted
Genre: Action | Adventure
Status: Canceled/Ended
Network: itv ( United Kingdom)
Runtime: 60 Minutes
Premiere: September 09, 1969
Ended: March 18, 1970
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